Being thousands of miles away from my home country doesn’t make the reality and the severity of the potential harm the Trump Administration could cause feel any less grim.
Only a short three days into the new administration and all I feel, every time I look at news headlines, is pure hopelessness. I know that this feeling I described as “pure hopelessness” is exactly what I call it because the utter loss of hope I feel is so deep and so strong it catches me by surprise. Sometimes I begin to cry for what seems like no reason at all. But I have realized that this is not the case. It turns out that I am not crying for no reason at all. As a matter of fact, I shed these tears because they are the tears of all of the lives we will fail.
It was only a matter of time but President Trump has reestablished the Mexico City Policy commonly referred to as the Global Gag Rule. This policy was first established in 1984 by the Reagan administration. And ever since the Reagan administration the policy has been rescinded and reestablished with each change of administration. The establishment of the Global Gag Rule essentially revokes funding for overseas organizations, if they provide any services that have anything to do with abortions. For example, let’s say you run an organization in Kenya that does many things to help the community and one of them is family planning. And annually you count on aid that comes from the United States. As the nature of family planning goes there is a wide variety of questions a woman might have concerning the health of her family and herself. Well if this organization even utters the word ‘abortion’ all their US aid is lost.
You might be wondering why this would even matter. Many communities in developing nations around the world count on US aid to serve their populations. If you ask women in developing nations what is the one thing they desire to make their quality of life better, most of the time their answer will be family planning services. By shutting down a clinic that offers an array of services, in addition to information about abortions, hurts all people from the community. They no longer have a place that can provide them with sound information and services. I believe this is a huge disservice to humanity. However, the Trump Administration seems to have zero interest in family planning opportunities for women living in America, it is obviously to much to ask for the Administration to have some empathy for women overseas.
When I first read that the Global Gag Rule had been reinstated it broke my heart. It isn’t enough to see the faces of children that have been suffering in Syria for years. The truth is when abortion is illegal that doesn’t mean abortions suddenly stop happening. In fact, with out access to other family planning methods, pregnancy goes up, and yes women, since the beginning of time, have found methods for ending pregnancies. When abortions move underground, out of site of medical assistance, women die.
At this time it is most important that we find a way to come together and express the range of emotions current events have placed upon us. I was unable to attend the Women’s March this past Saturday and I deeply regret it. However, I hope that we keep this momentum. The more that we can express and share our pains, our sorrows, we will build a greater capacity to change our lives and change the world.
In conclusion, while I was exploring the streets of Bogotá today I ran in to some other people from the United States. Of course we couldn’t help but talk about the Trump Administration and some of the unexpected horrors of this administration. I assured my new friends that we are all in mourning. Surely there is power in mourning.